Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2200 32nd Place SE

Front of 2200 32 PL.jpgThis entry comes from a reader in who alerted me to a project which looks to be going nowhere. The property is 2200 32nd Pl, SE, in the Hillcrest neighborhood of DC.
It has several problems, one being it is not secure. There are unsecured windows and unsecured doors in the front and back. These unsecured entry points allow allow for the elements to enter, which in time can damage the structure.  This also allows for vagrants and vermin to enter. The other problem is there is no fence in the front or back to discourage vagrants or any other curious human being to enter.
Back 2200 32 PL SE.jpgProperties such as this are a blight on the neighborhood.
The owner is listed as a Richard Cunningham Sr and the mailing address for Mr. Cunningham is the vacant property. Mr. Cunningham obtained the property in August of 2012 for $300K, according to the DC Tax database. According to neighbors he got it in a tax sale. After gaining control of the property Mr. Cunningham (or his agents) began tearing out the interior, as if to renovate the property. There is a permit D1200811 issued in July of 2012 (???) for interior demo and there is a second permit issued January of this year B1403650 for interior renovation. The agent for the recent permit is Killette and Associates, which I could find as the agent for 2012 work proposed for a property in Le Droit Park and other places around DC. The phone number attached to the permit is a DC AT&T mobile number.
2200 32nd Place SE Gutted Interior.jpg
Hopefully the 2014 permit is not a ruse to attempt to thwart the vacant tax rate, because so far that isn't working. It is currently being taxed at the higher vacant rate. The city came out in 2013 and found the property to be vacant. According to the DC Tax database taxes were paid in April 2012 and in February 2014. Despite what was paid earlier this year, the owner owes the city $8741.40 in taxes, $897.25 for a special assessment, and $389.85 for water as of May 24th. What would work is doing some substantial work on the property.
I looked on the out of date Blockshopper for a Richard Cunningham and it is a fairly common name. Despite that I also looked at the Social Security Death Index and alas, too many Richie Cunninghams. Besides, the recent payment of taxes in 2014 hints that he might not be dead.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Two more off the list

I want to get rid of properties on the list no longer vacant so here are two more:
1006 M St NW, was featured here back in 2007. It was in the process of becoming something else, but it was vacant. Now it is 4 units, two are at least owner occupied.
1225 10th St NW is also occupied receiving the homestead deduction. It was last sold in 2011 for $815K.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bunch of occupied properties that were once vacant

These are all properties reported on the DC Vacant Properties blog that are now all occupied. I just want to take them off the list.

 1227 1st St NW- It was featured on the InShaw blog on December 20, 2007. Where it was reported that an owner acquired the property in 2007 for an unknown amount. Work was done in 2009 resulting in a stop work order or two. This was prior to the current owner who is receiving a homestead deduction, buying the property that same year. There is no record in the DC PIVS of a certificate of occupancy, though it appears occupied enough.

312 P St NW- This was also featured on the the InShaw blog in 2008 with the title "Crap House 1/2 Off". There was some minor drama about a private lender dying and the work couldn't be completed, blah, blah, blah. There were several permits issued for work late 2009 and in 2010, about the time when the current owner bought the property. It looks occupied.

219 P St NW- Is from a December 15th 2007 InShaw post. It was a mess, broken windows, and plywood doors. Now it is a occupied two unit residence. I guessed that from the young lady on the stairs on the phone. It was a nice evening to be out. When the 12/17/07 post was written the first permit was only a few months old, followed by a second permit for electrical work. There is no occupancy permit, not a big deal for the other P St house (which doesn't have one per PIVS) and the 1st St property, 'cause when it is your house and you're living in it forget the CofO dammit. But these are two units, rental units I gather from the owner living in Dun Loring. Just a little thing the owner may want to fix, this being a super tenant friendly (landlord hostile) city and all.

226 N St NW- The Mt. Vernon Square Neighborhood Association post for this is no longer, but it's 7/11/2008 title was "Hole for Sale." It is occupied. The permits are interesting. There are a few for 2003-2005, then three for February 2010. If I were to guess, work was done between 2003-2005, then undone afterwards, leaving a hole in the ground in 2008, work was done creating a new building in 2010, then sold as 2 condos in 2011. There is an old post on Greater Greater Washington with a before picture of 226 N St, showing it as a vacant lot surrounded by jersey walls.

508 M St NW- Occupied but odd tax thing

508 M St NWThere was a lot of back and forth on the 3D MPD listserv back in September 2007 about a shooting that had occurred near 508 M St NW. There is a photo of a bullet hole that pierced a window at the address.
Looking at the DC PIVS, the building was at one time condemned and had been vacant up until 2011. Between 2009-2011 there were permits issued. The DC Tax database for the address looks, weird. The entry for 0482 0071, 508 M St NW is in the name of International Group LLC, the owners mentioned back in 2007. They have not paid any taxes since 2009, but have been credited after that and currently have a negative balance. Maybe the unit was broken up into condos? It is several units as there are a few different electrical meters. however a look at the block reveals, no other 508 M Streets NW unit anything.
This is the DC Vacant Properties blog, not the DC Property Tax Watchdog blog, so the only thing I'm going to say is this is occupied.

438 N St NW- occupied

438-440 N St NWThe old link for 438 N St is no longer active. Walking by 438 N St NW, the place looks fine.
The property was last sold 2013 to an owner claiming the homestead deduction. According to the DC PIVS permits were issued in 2010 and 2011 for work done, which I'll gather was the work that took the property from vacant to occupied.
So moving on, nothing to see here folks.

Friday, May 16, 2014

925 5th St NW- vacant and charged

925 5th St NW.. but not taxed at the vacant rate. Probably doesn't matter much since it is $132,827.64 in arrears. Last year the owner Anthony Cheng, also known as Tony Cheng, owed $97,326.43 for the 2013 tax year. The same amount was taxed to the property for 2012. Mr. Cheng may have been a little too preoccupied with his indictment to pay much attention to this vacant piece of Mount Vernon Triangle property.
This property came to this blog's attention back in 2008, when a reader submitted a question, commenting that Mr. Cheng had removed the roof. From the street, it is hard to see a roof. And yes, this is just around the corner from where there was a recent roof collapse, but the buildings are not connected.
There were two recent permits issued, which maybe the last one is a reason for a lower 2014 tax rate. The first one, B1214203 issued 9/26/2012 was for "paint,repair door remove plywood from windows". The second, B1305270 issued 3/29/2013 was to "Brace facade wall to secure, alteration and repair."
Recently Mr. Cheng and his son plead guilty to the bribery charges. There may be some jail time and fines. At the end of the year it should all be over an done with, and the Chengs can get back to paying the property tax and ignoring the property.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

1256 New Jersey Avenue NW- Occupied

1256 NJ Ave NWThis is just a quickie post. Back on June 20, 2008 this building was a vacant building according to a page that is no longer on the site. I can't find the address on the DC tax website, but since it is occupied, it's not a biggie.
The property photographed was once an empty building, but not for very long. I have memories of seeing a guy come out from this building's vicinity to beat up another guy with a 2x4 in front of the firehouse across the street. I called 911, because I remember telling a dispatcher that a housing police cruiser showed up to break up the fight. Somewhere there is a fuzzy picture of this.
The building has gotten upscale since this event. 

1417 5th St NW- occupied

1417 5th St NWBack in 2007 blogger DaddyFiveOh posted "Buy Me", a look at the shell that was 1417 5th St NW.  It had been one of many problem properties in the area, but now it is occupied.
According to the DC Tax website, the property was bought in November 2007, by someone who lists an address several doors down. In early 2007 the house was on the market, as a shell, and it appears that there was a complete renovation. Looking at the old photo taken by DaddyFiveOh, the job done to bring the house back looks amazing.

Monday, May 12, 2014

420 Warner St NW- Occupied

420 Warner St NWThe list to the right of vacant properties is a little out dated. Some problem and vacant properties are now occupied and part of the positive neighborhood fabric. In 2007, back when the ANC Kevin Chappel had a website, one of the October posts was titled "Vacant and nuisance property on Warner". I can only gather that 420 Warner was once that vacant property.
It isn't vacant any longer. It was most recently sold a few years ago to its current owner and resident.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Vacant Property Response Form: The exemptions

If the city has determined your property to be vacant, and you disagree, you will need to fill out DCRA's Vacant Property Response Form (PDF).
Before we get to the exceptions, the part where one checks "YES, MY BUILDING IS VACANT and I certify that it meets the Vacant Building Maintenance Requirements in D.C. Code 42-3131.12. Please REGISTER MY BUILDING AD VACANT. I will be taxed at the Class 3 rate." And there is a registration fee of $250.00. $250 on top of the higher rate, seems to create a dis-incentive to quickly register property.
Anyway, there are two other options to agreeing a property is vacant. The first is checking the box "NO, MY BUILDING IS OCCUPIED" and two most recent water and any other utility bills. If the building is commercial then add a Certificate of Occupancy. The second box is "MY BUILDING IS EXEMPT" and there are 5 options.
The first option is for buildings under active construction. Instructions read as "List building permit number(s). Permit(s) must have been issued, renewed, or extended within 12 months of the required registration date." The issuing of a permit doesn't always mean work done, but it is a legitimate exemption. Problems arise when work starts, and stops, and starts and stops over a lengthy amount of time. This is frustrating for neighbors, and probably no fun for the developer either.
The second is, "THE OWNER IS ACTIVELY SEEKING TO SELL OR RENT THE BUILDING". This requires, according to the form, a "listing agreement with realty agent contact information AND MRIS or MLS electronic listing." There is nothing saying the price has to be reasonable.
The third is, "THE BUILDING IS THE SUBJECT OF A PROBATE PROCEEDING OF THE TITLE IS THE SUBJECT OF LITIGATION." This requires proof of ownership, and a copy of a Letter of Assignment and court documents showing the case is active. Probate and court cases can take time.
Fourth is, "THE BUILDING IS THE SUBJECT OF A PENDING APPLICATION BEFORE A D.C. DEVELOPMENT BOARD". This requires a copy of a filed application for a hearing with a particular board or commission. This is another process that can take time.
Lastly is, "I AM SEEKING A SPECIAL EXEMPTION FROM THE MAYOR". This requires documentation. I have no idea what this is, but just seeking it seems to be an option, regardless of getting it.
There is nothing on the form as to how long an exemption to the Class 3 rate may continue.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

403 R St NW- Still vacant

403 R403 R St NW is still vacant. It has nice drapes and no mail slot. The front is bricked over so there is little need for upkeep.
Back in 2008 I blogged about this house at the InShaw blog. It was in worse shape then. Now the windows have been repaired and it blends in a bit.
It is not taxed at the vacant rate and doesn't seem to have been taxed at a higher rate for years. It has been owned by Dorothy Farr of Seattle, WA since 2003.
UPDATE 6/16/14: I've been informed that part of the rear of this house has collapsed and is letting in the elements.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

919 L St NW- Is sooo vacant

919 L St NW 1This looks very vacant.
It's the lack of windows that's the tip off. This building is across the street from the newly opened Marriott Marquis hotel.
The DC Tax office does not have this listed as a vacant property on the assessment database, but it is paying some pretty high taxes regardless. In 2013 and 2012, $29,182.62 was paid each year in property taxes at the class 1 residential rate for a property assessed at $4,156,280.  The owners are listed as the Square 369 Hotel Associates LLC of Bethesda, MD.
A quick Google search of the the Sq. 369 Hotel Associates show that they also own other nearby properties. The semi-out of date Blockshopper shows the LLC owning 911 and 913 L St NW. Taking another look at the DC Tax Assessment page, searching on Square 0369 and L for the street, reveals connections to 915 and 929 L St NW, lots with no address number, 0369 0848 and 0369 0805, as well as 1100-1114 Shepherds Alley NW. None are listed as vacant, only one has a Class 3 exception. Several of the properties were bought in 2003. In 2007 Rob Goodspeed documented some of the properties' vacant status in a 9th Street Vacant properties survey.
There haven't been any recent (in the last year), permits for 919 L St NW. Other properties have had some permits for work relating to holding a construction trailer and other hotel construction whatnot have been issued.
Though the DC Tax database has some misspellings and leaves off the 'NW' on occasions, it doesn't seem to be too much of a leap to see that Marriott has some connection with the properties across the street from its shiny new hotel. The listed owner for 929 L St NW is "SQUARE 369 HOTEL ASSOCIATES LLC MERRIOTT INTERNATIONAL INC". So one could gather that at some point the owner will deal with the other side of the road to make its completed property more attractive.

UPDATE 10/21/2014- Short Articles About Long Meetings mentions that 911 L is historically protected.  The owner want to raze the building.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

460 Ridge St NW

460 Ridge St NWThere is not much to say about 460 Ridge St NW. It is owned by the DC government, I gather. It is a vacant lot. It has a sign and a fence. It is long and thin. It is not in the DC Tax office assessment database, as far as I can tell.
The sign hints it belongs to the DC Department of Housing and Community Development. Or maybe DHCD just puts signs up for properties like this.
I have noticed long vacant skinny lots like this are getting townhomes thrown on them in recent days. DC could turn it over to a developer, or turn it into an alley or make it a skinny community garden. With the grass growing, I gather there is enough light for such a thing.

Note- Apparently around November 26, 2007 there was a  house on this lot that collapsed. There is a Flickr photo of the damage here and here. A blogger Ninjamonkey posted something about the collapse. In 2012 developer Blue Sky Housing LLC applied to do something with the lot and the neighboring property (PDF).

Monday, May 5, 2014

1000 M St NW- 2014 update

1000 M St NW11000 M St NW gets a good number of hits for an old post and so I figured it might be occupied by now. Walking by on a Sunday afternoon, I'm not sure what it is. It could be a decently maintained vacant property, or poorly occupied. The Christmas wreath is still on the door and a fair amount of mail in the mail box. It is also being charged the vacant rate by the DC tax office. It currently owes $23,060.13. The property assessed value is a little over 1 million dollars.
The owner is listed as a M Angelidou with a Washington, DC P.O. Box. This is the same owner listed back when Ed wrote up the 2007 post on this vacant property. A quick check on the Social Security Death Index revealed nothing.
Checking DCRA's PIVS application, the property is in the Shaw Historic District, and there is a zoning overlay for the Downtown district. There have been several permits issued over the years. The last one was from 2012 (F1200419) for window/door grills.
It looks as if it could become occupied. Permits look as if there might have been electrical work, roofing and other work done. However, experience has shown that a permit filed, does not mean work done.